Georgia citrus growers experience extremely low temperatures

At Franklin Farms in Statesboro, Georgia’s northernmost citrus farm, the tenacity of the cold weather, coupled with nearly 3 inches of snow, has been worrying. But in general, Georgia citrus growers are cautiously optimistic after a week of snow and unusual cold.

Many of them protected their trees from the icy temperatures with a continuous mist of water, spraying some 15 gallons per hour to allow ice to form on the base of each tree. Although it is quite counter-intuitive, the formation of the artificial ice produces heat.

Lindy Savelle, president of the Georgia Citrus Association told “You have to keep forming it; it works if you keep the water going.” Savelle, who also operates a nursery for citrus, said she checked in with customers around the state and most think their trees survived. “Most growers ran their systems six days straight”

“Everyone is keeping their fingers crossed,” Savelle said.

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